- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz lit up the political stage this week in a contentious, angry exchange that began when the Democratic National Committee chair accused the GOP in general for the government shutdown and in specific, Mr. Rubio and fellow senator colleague Ted Cruz.

“Earlier this week, we launched this campaign to hold Republicans accountable for their reckless actions — and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz said on Thursday, Sunshine State News reported. “We’ll continue to hold Republicans like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz accountable for shutting down the government and risking the full faith and credit of the United States.”

She then turned her pointed finger at House Speaker John A. Boehner — and said among those most hurt by the shutdown were minorities, like Hispanics.

“They could end this self-inflicted shutdown today if Speaker Boehner would allow a vote on a clean spending bill with no partisan strings attached,” she said, Sunshine State News reported. “The GOP’s shutdown is hurting Latino communities nationwide, and the DNC is going to make sure voters in every community know that Republicans are siding with the tea party over working families.”

Her comments about the Hispanic communities come just as the DNC kicked off a targeted campaign to court the Latino vote in several key states. The RNC, meanwhile, has done similarly, launching a $10 million campaign in numerous states to woo Hispanic voters, beginning with California. But the DNC is targeting Mr. Rubio specifically — and has released a “GOP Shutdown Alert,” blaming the senator as the “architect of the GOP’s government shutdown and it’s hurting the Latino community in Florida.”

**FILE** Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican (Associated Press)
**FILE** Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican (Associated Press) more >

Mr. Rubio fought back within hours, emailing his supporters to “fight back” against this DNC public relations threat, Sunshine State News reported.

“The DNC has launched a full-on multimedia assault against those of us fighting the liberal status quo in Washington,” he said, in his email blast. “Democrats have the audacity to blame us for the government slowdown after they rejected numerous Republican proposals to keep the government open.”

Mr. Rubio also stressed that Americans were sick and tired of the Capitol Hill bickering — a political climate he blamed on Democrats.

“Across our country,” he wrote, “Americans are as disgusted as I am by the latest Washington spectacle of failed leadership. … While Washington debates how to keep the government open, too few are taking about how to keep the American dream alive.”